Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to N1K017
Tied to N1KC17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To explore the environmental pressures at work on organisations, how they can respond to these influences, and the management issues involved in aligning with these forces.
  • Specifically, the module takes an integrated perspective of the operating environment of the organisation. Firstly, it explores the process of developing strategy and making strategic choices in order to develop a critical appreciation of the organisation and the environment. Secondly, the module considers how this entire process is underpinned by marketing and intelligence. Finally, it examines how managers deliver strategic plans by effective operational management in terms of the design, planning, control, forecasting and management of resources.
  • A particular feature is the way in which the theme not only conceptualises the strategic pressures faced by organisations, but also identifies the main issues that need to be addressed by individual managers.


  • The module takes an integrated perspective on three core areas:
  • Strategy: strategic paradigms, social constructions of the firm and its environment; internal and external aspects of power and culture; strategic decision-making, approaches to creating and sustaining competitive advantage.
  • Marketing: marketing in a competitive environment; the Internet and the multi-channel business model; marketing strategies; marketing tactics; buyer behaviour.
  • Managing Operations: operations strategy; product and service design; process design; planning and control; operations improvement.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, students will have:
  • developed an integrated and critical appreciation of the key business areas that need to be managed in a competitive operating environment to achieve a holistic view; emphasis on process and integration rather than functional 'silos';
  • developed a critical appreciation of the dynamic pressures of the environment, both internally within the organisation and externally;
  • developed a critical understanding of the existing theoretical knowledge based on key areas (Strategy & Decision Making, Operations & Marketing).
Subject-specific Skills:
Key Skills:
  • Creating a holistic vision.
  • Building and developing teams.
  • Negotiating and persuading.
  • Networking.
  • Sourcing appropriate data and evaluating evidence.
  • Interpreting and using numerical and financial information.
  • Reflecting and synthesising from experience.
  • Developing critical thinking.
  • Exercising discrimination and judgement.
  • Synthesising diverse perspectives.
  • Developing coherent and persuasive arguments.
  • Selecting appropriate modes of communication.
  • Presenting effectively using oral, written and technological media.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The summative assessment of the module, by written examination, will test students’ acquisition and articulation of knowledge and their ability to apply what they have learned in a particular context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 42
Preparation and Reading 108
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 3 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University